One of the best ways to discover data for a project, particularly if you're looking for something very specific, is to search through some of the massive data archives that exist on the web.
- ICPSR: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research
Log in (through the library or own your own) and access thousands of datasets from one of the first social science data archives.
- Paul Hensel's International Relations Data Site
An extensive archive of databases for students and scholars of international relations.
Home of the U.S. Government's open data.
- Resources for Economists
As the name suggests, this site brings together economic databases of all kinds, including world and non-U.S. data.
- Data on the Net
Links to hundreds of other data archives, searchable collections, and more.
Search over 10 million data sets. The site also features excellent data visualization tools.
- Google Public Data
This growing repository allows you to search and to visualize some of the most commonly used public data in international relations research and beyond.
Organized thematically, this is just a small sample of the freely available data of interest to students of international affairs.
- Cross-National Time-Series Data Archive
Arthur Banks' data available through the AU library web page. If you use this data, you'll also want to explore the data coverage.
- Paul Hensel's International Relations Data Site
An extensive archive of databases for students and scholars of international relations.
- Pippa Norris Data
Multiple datasets, including cross-national and time-series democracy and election data.
- Quality of Governance Data
The QoG Data includes over 500 variables measured across 191 countries. Cross-national and time-series data, as well as tools for data visualization, are available.
- UN Data
Brings together information from across 34 UN Databases.
- CIA World Factbook
Earlier versions (back to 1981) are available through the AU library here.
- Global Policy Forum
Kyoto Treaty signatories, volumes of arms transfers, prison populations, and more.
- International Development Statistics (IDS)
Online databases on aid and other resource flows.
- Resource Flows Project
Data on the flow of Population and Development aid around the world.
- "Aid, Policies, and Growth" data
Download the replication files for this project on the effectiveness of international aid.
- Net Aid Transfers(1960-2012)
A new measure of foreign aid flows.
- USAID "Greenbook"
U.S. Government foreign assistance since 1945. The companion data is also available to explore.
Extensive data and customizable maps of financial development assistance.
An excellent tool for visualizing the international flow of foreign aid.
Pew Global Attitudes Project
Data from Pew's annual, 39-nation survey. Surveys go back to 2001.
- Pew Research Center for the People & the PressPew Research Center for the People & the Press
- Search through 17 years of Pew's monthly surveys in the U.S.
Download data from regular, national surveys on democracy and governance in 35 African countries.
Since 1995, Latinobarómetro has conducted over 20,000 interviews across 18 Latin American countries.
Explore data from two waves of representative public opinion surveys (2006-08; 2010-11) across 10 Arab countries. Phase II includes surveys in the wake of the "Arab Spring."
Public opinion studies from 13 East Asian states and 5 South Asian countries.
Polling the Nations
21 years of polls across more than 100 countries!
World Values Survey
Focusing on human beliefs and values, the WVS conducts representative surveys in over 90 countries.
Roper Opinion Data
Data from national and international public opinion polls since 1935.
- WANGO Worldwide NGO Directory
List and locations of NGOs in 170 countries.
- Directory of Development Organizations
Country-specific directories of development organizations.
- USAID Civil Society Sustainability Index: Central and Eastern Europe and Eurasia
Formerly the NGO Sustainability Index, the index tracks the viability of CSO sectors by country and over time through 2016.
- USAID Civil Society Sustainability Index: Sub-Saharan Africa
This index tracks the viability of CSO sectors by country through 2016.
- Economist Intelligence Unit Democracy Index
The EIU's Laza Kekic ranks the nations of the world by democratic political characteristics in this 2007 report.
- Freedom in the World
The ranking of record for political freedoms, published since 1972 by the Washington, DC-based nonprofit Freedom House.
- Index of Economic Freedom
Annual ranking of 186 countries by the strength of ten economic freedoms, published since 1994 by the Wall Street Journal and the conservative Heritage Foundation.
- Polity IV Project
Data on the incidence of democratic and autocratic types of political authority spanning 1800-2013, from the Vienna, VA-based Center for Systemic Peace.
- Ibrahim Index of African Governance
Dataset from the London-based Mo Ibrahim Foundation, tracking variables related to security, the rule of law, political pluralism, and economic opportunity from 2000-present.
- Corruption Perceptions Index
A dataset tracking government corruption in 175 countries from 2000-present, from the Berlin-based NGO Transparency International.
- Worldwide Governance Indicators
World Bank data on political pluralism and accountability, quality of governance, the rule of law, and related variables for 215 countries spanning 1996-2013.
- CIRI Human Rights Dataset
Data measuring respect for human rights in 202 countries spanning 1981-2011, compiled by current and former faculty members at SUNY-Binghamton.
Data from the International Parliamentary Union on the taxonomies of 265 parliamentary bodies across the 189 countries that possess a national legislature.
- IDEA Databases and Networks
Links to a variety of databases on electoral systems and voter behavior, sponsored by the Sweden-based International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance.
- Database of Political Institutions (Updated 2017)
Descriptive statistics on national political institutions spanning 1975-2015, published by the World Bank.
- Index of African Governance
Data on security, the rule of law, human rights and freedoms, and economic opportunity in African nations, from a 2009 study by Robert I. Rotberg and Rachel M. Gisselquist.
- Country Indicators for Foreign Policy
This site from Carleton University has links to a wide variety of data sources, as well as some compiled data from the University itself. Linked sources include
- Election Passport
Detailed election results from over 90 countries, compiled by David Lublin of American University. (Still updated, but eventually to be superseded by the Constituency-Level Elections Archive.)
- Environmental Vulnerability Index
A collection of 50 indicators of vulnerability to future environmental shocks, jointly sponsored by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community and the United Nations Environment Programme.
- Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center
A portal to 190 datasets on topics including conservation, land use, water, population, and other environmental topics, jointly sponsored by NASA and Columbia University.
- Global Footprint Network
Measures of human impact on ecology from an Oakland, CA-based political advocacy group.
- World Resources Institute
Maps and data from a Washington, DC-based political advocacy group.
- China Energy Databook
Data on energy use in the People's Republic of China spanning 1949-2011, published by the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
- Mind the Gap
A September 2013 paper from the German Institute of Global and Area Studies, providing "an annotated overview of datasets in the study of institutions and conflict in divided societies."
- Minorities at Risk Project
Data on 284 politically active ethnic groups spanning 1945-present, from the Center for International Development and Conflict Management at the University of Maryland.
- UCDP Conflict Encyclopedia
An interactive map of armed conflict from Sweden's Uppsala University, spanning 1975-present; click on "Datasets" to view associated files.
- Global Terrorism Database
Open-source data on acts of terrorism spanning 1970-present, from the Department of Homeland Security's START program at the University of Maryland.
- Integrated Network for Societal Conflict Research
Data on war, terrorism, coups d'etat, state fragility, major crime, and more, from the Vienna, VA-based Center for Systemic Peace.
- PRIO Replication Data
Replication files from studies carried out by staff members at the Peace Research Institute Oslo, a Norwegian think tank.
- CCAPS Armed Conflict in Africa Database
University of Texas database tracking violence in Africa, spanning 1997-present and including weekly updates on 30 "high-risk" countries.
- Country Indicators for Foreign Policy
This site from Carleton University has links to a wide variety of data sources, as well as some compiled data from the University itself.
- Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre
A Swiss-based member agency of the Norwegian Refugee Council, the IDMC publishes estimates of populations displaced by both conflict and natural disaster.
- UN Peacekeeping Statistics
Data from the United Nations on member-state contributions to peacekeeping missions, fatalities, and more.
- EM-DAT, The International Disaster Database
Data on natural and man-made disasters from the Center for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters at the Universite Catholique de Louvain. Also see this list of publications related to the database.
- UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Refugee data from the United Nations at the country, region, and global levels.
- World Refugee Survey
Archive of the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, which published the Survey annually until 2009.
Migration Policy Institute Data Hub
Data and graphs on US and international trends in migration and remittances from a Washington, DC-based think tank.
US State Department Trafficking in Persons Report
The US Government's annual report on human trafficking, including back issues to 2001.
Annual ORR Reports to Congress
Annual reports of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, including back issues to 1980. Also see the Office's archive of Overseas Refugee Arrival Data.
GMG Migration Data
List of migration data websites from the UN's inter-agency Global Migration Group.
Send Money Africa
Data on the costs of sending remittances from 16 major sending countries to 28 African receiving countries.
- Facts on International Relations and Security Trends
A wide-ranging collection of international-affairs databases, covering topics ranging from military expenditures to human freedom to disease outbreaks, and backed by an international consortium of governments and NGOs.
- The World Drug Report
The UN's annual report on the global production, trafficking, and consumption of illegal or restricted drugs, including opiates, cocaine, cannabis, and amphetamines.
- EDA Defence Data Portal
Defense spending, force size, and force composition measurements on 27 European Union member states, published by the European Defence Agency.
- Microfinance Information Exchange
The DC-based nonprofit MIX promotes financial services for the poor.
- Interactive Tariff and Trade DataWeb
A free portal to official data on US tariffs and international trade, spanning 1989-present.
- Trade Stats Express
Annual and quarterly trade data from the International Trade Administration, US Department of Commerce.
- World Economic Forum
The Geneva-based nonprofit, best known for its annual meeting in Davos, partners government and private-sector leaders to promote economic growth "in the spirit of global citizenship."
- Economic Freedom Network
Annual reports from Canada's Fraser Institute on the "Economic Freedom of the World," tracking 42 indicators in 141 nations.
- UN Conference on Trade and Development World Investment Report
Annual reports spanning 1989-present, covering trends in foreign direct investment. Also publishes topical analyses and fact sheets on individual countries.
- UN Development Program Income Gini Coefficient
Handy table displaying each country's Gini coefficient, a measure of income inequality.
- Penn World Table
A large panel dataset of national economic indicators spanning 1950-2011 and covering 167 countries.
A repository of labor statistics from the UN's International Labour Organization, including country profiles and an Excel plugin for easier manipulation. Supersedes the LABORSTA database.
- Statistical Review of World Energy
The longest-running annual statistical record of world energy production and consumption, published by BP (olim British Petroleum, olim the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company) since 1952.
- Food and Agriculture Organization data
Time-series and cross sectional data relating to food and agriculture for some 200 countries.
- US Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service
Primary source of economic information and research in the U.S. Department of Agriculture
- International Food Policy Research Institute
The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) seeks sustainable solutions for ending hunger and poverty.
Population Reference Bureau
Population Reference Bureau Data finder(population, education, economy, environment, health, HIV/AIDS, reproductive health
International information on labor
Demographic and Health Surveys
The DHS Program has earned a worldwide reputation for collecting and disseminating accurate, nationally representative data on fertility, family planning, maternal and child health, gender, HIV/AIDS, malaria, and nutrition.
- ITU statistics (telecommunications)
The core mission of the Telecommunication Development Sector (ITU-D) shall be to foster international cooperation and solidarity in the delivery of technical assistance and in the creation, development and improvement of telecommunication/ICT equipment and networks in developing countries.
- Reporters without Borders World Press Freedom Index
Reporters without Borders monitors attacks on freedom of information worldwide
- IREX Media Sustainability Index (Eurasia/SE Europe, MENA, Africa)
Data on the conditions for independent media in 80 countries across the world.
- World Journalism Education Census
Information on journalism education programs around the world.
- Freedom House Freedom of the Press Survey
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization dedicated to the expansion of freedom around the world.
- Women, Business and the Law
- OECD: Social Institutions and Gender Index
SIGI is a composite indicator of gender inequality for about 100 countries around the world
- The Women Stats Project
"The most comprehensive compilation of information on the status of women in the world"
Cross national data on violence against women (2012)
- The Environment and Gender Index
EGI monitors gender equality and women's empowerment in the environmental arena
Ethnic, linguistic, and religious fractionalization data
Search for "fractionalization" on page
Data on education, culture, science, communication (exports of cultural goods, linguistic diversity on the internet)
- The Association of Religion Data Archives
- Census Scope (from 2000 census, including on segregation)
Census and Trend Data going back to 2000, 1990, 1980, and sometimes even further, on a growing list of topics, including population growth, population by race, age structure, family structure, and income.
- US Census
Statistical Abstract of the United States
- Charity Navigator
Charity Navigator has become the nation's largest and most-utilized evaluator of charities.
- US Election Atlas
Atlas of US Presidential Elections
- Measure of America
US Human Development Index by state, district, and more.
- National Health Interview Survey
The National Health Interview Survey is a survey collecting information on the health, health care access, and health behaviors of the civilian, non-institutionalized U.S. population, with digital data files available from 1963 to present. IPUMS Health Surveys harmonizes these data and allows users to create custom NHIS data extracts for analysis.
- Institute of Education Sciences
IPEDSthe primary source for data on colleges, universities, and technical and vocational postsecondary institutions in the U.S.
Data for over 74,000 U.S. cities
- African Health Care Professionals Working Abroad
estimate the number of African-born doctors and professional nurses working abroad in developed countries.
- African Development Bank Group
Provides access to information on all of its lending projects from 1967 up to now. Based on the IATI data, the dataset includes basic information such as the project title and ID, country, sector, task manager but also, financial information, results and links to publicly disclosed documents.
- Japanese General Social Survey
The surveys were designed to solicit political, sociological, and economic information from people living in Japan.
- Census of Japan
Focuses on the development of society and economy.
- Pippa Norris on British Elections
Detailed British election results.
- Indian Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation
There is a large volume of data generated through various socio-economic surveys and censuses.
- Indian Ministry of Home Affairs, Office of the Registrar General
Information on demography, economic activity, literacy, education, housing, fertility and more.
- India 2011 Census
Diverse Indicators Relating India
- Forest Survey of India
Survey and assessment of forest resources in the country
Estimating City Populations
Estimates of the population sizes of the world's largest cities.
UN Data on Cities and Urban Agglomerations
Estimates and projections of the urban and rural populations of all countries in the world and of their major urban agglomerations.
The territorial sizes of empires
Find estimates of the size of cities and empires back to the Bronze Age.
- UN Voting Patterns
State Dept list of yearly UN voting patterns compared with the U.S.